I just saw something online that said if you work hard you will succeed. While I love the simplicity of that thought, unfortunately it’s just not true. There are a lot of you out there working your butts off and not getting the recognition or the money you deserve. And, for many of you, you certainly aren’t succeeding as far as actually enjoying your work.
So is the answer to work even harder? Probably not — at least not without making sure what you are doing will get you somewhere you want to go. Success comes in many forms. But none of them are the result of hard work only. So what’s the rest of the formula?
Examples of working hard w/o big payoff
Before we get to the rest of the formula, let’s look at a few examples where hard work doesn’t lead to anything but frustration and more hard work.
- Mary works at a pharmacy where her manager is great at not being around when things get busy. Or when emergencies happen. So Mary winds up working long hours and making sure everything doesn’t fall apart. She’s done this for ten years and is still in debt. And her boss just bought a new boat.
- Steve went into business for himself. And the moment he gave notice to his 9 to 5 job was one of the highlights of his life. But now he works harder than ever — about 100 hours a week — and yet his business is always trying to find new customers. The joy he felt initially has long since faded. And his family never gets to see him.
- Laura joined a fast food company that made it look like she could work her way up to owning her own franchise one day. But she has watched person after person move ahead, while she’s always the first in and first out from her shift. And yes … she is a hard worker. Everyone says that.
So what’s the problem. Why isn’t hard work working for Mary, Steve, and Laura? And why do people who don’t work nearly as hard as they do get to succeed? [Read more…]